This ends my Troll Hunter "sort-of-serial". Links to the first two parts can be found on Part 3, here.
Blood streamed down Lady
Edlewine’s arm from her blade. The troll
towering over her teetered and fell, the back of each leg destabilized. Edlewine smiled, the brief curl of her pale
lips just reaching her equally pale blue eyes.
Baron Raymond cheered.
“Prince Luther, would you like
the honors?” Edlewine asked. The Prince
set his horse to a trot, spinning an elaborate rapier at his side. He plunged it deep into the troll’s ribcage.
A few of the other trolls stopped
to look at their new opponents. Drool
dripped down from their chins. One tossed
his hunk of stone in Edlewine’s direction.
She nudged her horse to shift out of the way right on time. Now
that we’ve lost the element of surprise…It gets interesting, she thought.
“New plan,” said
Edlewine. “If we can get them to throw
their rocks at us, it shall give Gretmot’s archers a chance to drop more of
Prince Luther’s eyes
widened. “So we’re playing bait?” He swallowed.
Edlewine steered her horse
away from the fortress, facing uphill.
The mare increased speed without a need for her mistress’ urging. A thud several paces behind her signaled another
close call. Aramel, don’t fail me now.
Another troll perished near to
the fortress, the fletching of dozens of arrows visible from hundreds of
meters. A battle cry rang out from its
Edlewine’s party avoided a
full volley of stones. Prince Henry
cried out, “the beasts nearly hit me that time.” Edlewine hid a grin.
“Prince, keep your men up here
taunting the trolls. I’m taking the
Baron with me to slay their ogre friend,” she said.
The Baron shivered. “Why are you taking me with you?”
“I don’t trust you out of my
sight.” Edlewine kicked her mare to a
“Coming, milady,” the Baron
murmured. He groaned.
“Ogres are tougher to kill
than trolls. We’ll need to completely
cut off its mobility before we can lay the final blow. Achilles, hamstrings, ankles, all need sliced
up if we are to get him on the ground.”
The Baron folded his hands,
shutting his eyes for a moment. “Ready,
so much as I shall ever be.”
Edlewine jerked her mare in a zigzag,
avoiding more and more rocks as they approached their target. She told the Baron to do the same. He took the advice.
The ogre looked over at the pair of them no more than a dozen strides
from its gnarled feet. It kicked at
them, but failed to achieve even a glancing blow. Edlewine whipped up her sword, slashing its
heel, then digging into its ankle. It
withdrew the limb, settling for a piece of the hillside jutting out from the
turf to deal with them.
“Now is our chance,” Edlewine
shouted. She rode behind one of the ogre’s
legs as it bent down. With the Baron on
the opposite side, each set to tearing as many tendons as possible. The ogre grunted with every wound. Nothing kept it from tumbling backward.
“We’ve slayed an ogre,” said
the Baron, his eyes bulging.
Edlewine huffed. She sheathed her sword. “Not just yet. Its heart still beats.”
The Baron nodded. He glanced
toward the heavens, bid thanks to God, and rushed to end it all.
Prince Luther’s knights
descended on the surviving trolls, scattered them. The Prince raised his banner and beamed. “An ogre hunter too, it seems, Lady Edlewine.”
Edlewine laughed. “Today.”